Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Review – The Best Film of the Year?

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Thomas Richards
| June 5, 2024
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Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the best action films released in the 2010s. The film was praised for its story, characters, and action, winning several awards. The question on everyone’s mind after this, though, was how to follow up a film like Fury Road. Do they continue the story with a sequel, maybe a prequel, or perhaps even something unrelated to the movie? They could also leave it as a one-and-done thing, but that never happens these days. So, what did they end up doing? Director George Miller took the character of Furiosa (played by Charlize Theron in Fury Road) and gave us her origin story in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. Does this prequel deserve to be held in the same regard as Fury Road? Or is it just a cash grab to capitalise on the previous film’s success? Let’s find out!

A Story of Growth and Revenge

Just aim and shoot. (Warner Brothers)

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is about, you guessed it, Furiosa. This film dives into her life story, giving us all the juicy tidbits that turn her into the person we see in Fury Road. The film covers the critical points of her life, including her time with her Mother, meeting the new apocalyptic villain, Dementus, crossing paths with the old villain but young now Immortan Joe, and becoming the badass we see in Fury Road. The film is able to cover these different points in Furiosa’s life by breaking up the film into chapters, with each chapter focusing on a major event. This helped to cover everything the story needed while keeping it moving at a brisk pace. I enjoyed this approach to the story as it gave it a unique vibe that I really dug. The pacing did get a bit wonky at some points, and maybe some scenes could’ve been cut, but it didn’t detract much from my enjoyment.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Slight pacing issues aside, I was engaged from beginning to end. I loved seeing Furiosa progress from child to badass over the course of the film. I also enjoyed watching Dementus become increasingly more demented as time passes. The way these two characters’ stories intertwine was actually my favourite part of this story. Dementus does everything on a whim and is very self-serving, and after parting ways with a young Furiosa after he’s done some questionable things (no spoilers here), he forgets about it and moves on. Furiosa, on the other hand, makes it her goal to kill the crazy bastard. They don’t share much screen time in the grand scheme of things, but the story always makes it clear that Furiosa is out to get Dementus. The film weaves these characters and their arcs together well, and when they reach their conclusion, it’ll leave you satisfied (and a little grossed out).

Meeting Some “Interesting” Folk

Bathing in the red dust. (Warner Brothers)

The Mad Max series is known for having some “unique” characters, and Furiosa is no different. Every character has something about them that stands out and ensures you’ll remember them long after the credits have rolled. Whether it’s Furiosa’s drive for revenge, the historian who writes over his own body, a dude who is constantly rubbing his nipples, or even the derangement that is Dementus. These larger-than-life characters kept my eyes glued to the screen for the entire two-and-a-half-hour runtime. What I also loved about every character in this film is the overwhelming amount of Aussie accents. From the exaggerated Aussie twang from some of the bikers to the normal accent I hear daily, it’s all distinctly Australian. This is all exemplified in the actors’ performances and only made me enjoy the film even more.

When it was announced that Anya Taylor-Joy would be taking on the role of Furiosa instead of Charlize Theron, fans were interested in seeing how Anya would go. I’m happy to say that she did amazing and easily knocked it out of the park. She’s able to convey so much emotion and information just with her body language and eyes; it’s stellar. And the lines she does have are delivered with such conviction that I believed every word. The other standout was Chris Hemsworth as the main baddie, Dementus, who ended up being one of my favourite Chris Hemsworth roles ever (even better than Thor). His performance is both menacing and comedic, entertaining and disturbing, and an all-around fun time. I especially enjoyed the nasally Aussie accent he puts on, as it further adds to the character’s presence. The cast was easily one of the best parts of the film, but it wasn’t my favourite. 

LET’S DRIVE SOME CARS AND BIKES!

Just out for a drive with the boys. (Warner Brothers)

It wouldn’t be a Mad Max film if there weren’t copious amounts of cars, explosions, fire, and more cars. George Miller has once again concocted a symphony of engines and destruction that would make any thrill seeker jump for joy. Is there a little less vehicular mayhem than Fury Road? Yes. But the film makes up for that by having a chariot made out of motorbikes. The action also feels more purposeful now that there’s less of it. It makes you appreciate the destruction more when you see it less (there’s still a buttload of destruction, though). The practical effects and stunts were outstanding and further added to the high-octane action. The gore was visceral and made me wince more than once (especially with some of the deaths). Some of the CGI was a bit dodgy, but it’s not horrendous and didn’t detract much from my enjoyment.

Now we get to my favourite part of the film, the sound design. This film sounds bloody amazing, with the mixture of engines, explosions, guns, and even the moments of silence; I love it all. Every time an action sequence started or a chase began, my ears ascended to another plane of existence. I don’t know if it’s because I had a fascination with cars when I was younger or if it’s just because I’m Australian, but hearing roaring engines scream across the wasteland was awesome. Then you add the soundtrack composed by Tom Holkenborg, and you have the best audio experience you can have in the cinema this year (yes, even better than Dune: Part 2).

It’s a little warm. (Warner Brothers)

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is the best film I’ve seen this year. Everything about it, from the story to the characters to the presentation, is fantastic. And despite some slight pacing issues and a bit of dodgy CGI, I still thoroughly enjoyed my time with the film and would see it again in a heartbeat. So what are you waiting for? Go see this film in cinemas now! And keep it locked to Couch Soup for more film content for your hungry nerd soul.

Have you seen Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga? What did you think? Is it the best film of the year? Let us know in the comments where we can all agree that Chris Hemsworth needs to play more villains.

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Michelle Holstine
16 days ago

Oooo you make me want to watch it now!

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